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  1. A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
    Contemporary realist theories of value claim to be compatible with natural science. In this paper, I call this claim into question by arguing that Darwinian considerations pose a dilemma for these theories. The main thrust of my argument is this. Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes. The challenge for realist theories of value is to explain the relation between these evolutionary influences on our evaluative attitudes, on the one hand, and the (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Proximate/Ultimate Distinction.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):196-203.
    Many philosophers believe that natural selection explanations debunk our moral beliefs or would do so if moral realism were true, relying on the assumption that explanations of this kind show that moral facts play no role in explaining human moral beliefs. Here I argue that this assumption rests on a confusion of proximate and ultimate explanatory factors. Insofar as evolutionary debunking arguments hinge on the assumption that moral facts play no role in explaining human moral beliefs, these arguments fall short.
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  • Debunking Evolutionary Debunking of Ethical Realism.William J. FitzPatrick - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):883-904.
    What implications, if any, does evolutionary biology have for metaethics? Many believe that our evolutionary background supports a deflationary metaethics, providing a basis at least for debunking ethical realism. Some arguments for this conclusion appeal to claims about the etiology of the mental capacities we employ in ethical judgment, while others appeal to the etiology of the content of our moral beliefs. In both cases the debunkers’ claim is that the causal roles played by evolutionary factors raise deep epistemic problems (...)
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  • On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2010 - Ethics 120 (3):441-464.
    Evolutionary debunkers of morality hold this thesis: If S’s moral belief that P can be given an evolutionary explanation, then S’s moral belief that P is not knowledge. In this paper, I debunk a variety of arguments for this thesis. I first sketch a possible evolutionary explanation for some human moral beliefs. Next, I explain how, given a reliabilist approach to warrant, my account implies that humans possess moral knowledge. Finally, I examine the debunking arguments of Michael Ruse, Sharon Street, (...)
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  • Do the Evolutionary Origins of Our Moral Beliefs Undermine Moral Knowledge?Kevin Brosnan - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):51-64.
    According to some recent arguments, if our moral beliefs are products of natural selection, then we do not have moral knowledge. In defense of this inference, its proponents argue that natural selection is a process that fails to track moral facts. In this paper, I argue that our having moral knowledge is consistent with, the hypothesis that our moral beliefs are products of natural selection, and the claim that natural selection fails to track moral facts. I also argue that natural (...)
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  • Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they wouldn’t: evolution selects for characteristics that increase (...)
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  • The Epistemological Challenge to Metanormative Realism: How Best to Understand It, and How to Cope with It.David Enoch - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):413-438.
    Metaethical—or, more generally, metanormative— realism faces a serious epistemological challenge. Realists owe us—very roughly speaking—an account of how it is that we can have epistemic access to the normative truths about which they are realists. This much is, it seems, uncontroversial among metaethicists, myself included. But this is as far as the agreement goes, for it is not clear—nor uncontroversial—how best to understand the challenge, what the best realist way of coping with it is, and how successful this attempt is. (...)
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  • Objectivity and Truth: You’D Better Believe It.Ronald Dworkin - 1996 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (2):87-139.
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  • The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  • Reply to Copp: Naturalism, Normativity, and the Varieties of Realism Worth Worrying About.Sharon Street - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):207-228.
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  • Darwinian Skepticism About Moral Realism.David Copp - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):186-206.
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  • Must Realists Be Skeptics? An Aristotelian Reply to a Darwinian Dilemma.Micah Lott - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):71-96.
    In a series of influential essays, Sharon Street has argued, on the basis of Darwinian considerations, that normative realism leads to skepticism about moral knowledge. I argue that if we begin with the account of moral knowledge provided by Aristotelian naturalism, then we can offer a satisfactory realist response to Street’s argument, and that Aristotelian naturalism can avoid challenges facing other realist responses. I first explain Street’s evolutionary argument and three of the most prominent realist responses, and I identify challenges (...)
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  • Objectivity and Truth: You’D Better Rethink It.Sharon Street - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 11.
    This chapter accepts for the sake of argument Ronald Dworkin’s point that the only viable form of normative skepticism is internal, and develops an internal skeptical argument directed specifically at normative realism. There is a striking and puzzling coincidence between normative judgments that are true, and normative judgments that causal forces led us to believe—a practical/theoretical puzzle to which the constructivist view has a solution. Normative realists have no solution, but are driven to conclude that we are probably hopeless at (...)
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  • Darwin and Moral Realism: Survival of the Iffiest.Knut Olav Skarsaune - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):229-243.
    This paper defends moral realism against Sharon Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” (this journal, 2006). I argue by separation of cases: From the assumption that a certain normative claim is true, I argue that the first horn of the dilemma is tenable for realists. Then, from the assumption that the same normative claim is false, I argue that the second horn is tenable. Either way, then, the Darwinian dilemma does not add anything to realists’ epistemic worries.
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  • From Mere Coincidences to Meaningful Discoveries.Thomas L. Griffiths & Joshua B. Tenenbaum - 2007 - Cognition 103 (2):180-226.
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  • Two Accounts of Moral Objectivity: From Attitude-Independence to Standpoint-Invariance.Jeroen Hopster - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):763-780.
    How should we understand the notion of moral objectivity? Metaethical positions that vindicate morality’s objective appearance are often associated with moral realism. On a realist construal, moral objectivity is understood in terms of mind-, stance-, or attitude-independence. But realism is not the only game in town for moral objectivists. On an antirealist construal, morality’s objective features are understood in virtue of our attitudes. In this paper I aim to develop this antirealist construal of moral objectivity in further detail, and to (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Moral Realism, Constructivism, and Explaining Moral Knowledge.Elizabeth Tropman - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):126-140.
    One of the alleged advantages of a constructivist theory in metaethics is that the theory avoids the epistemological problems with moral realism while reaping many of realism's benefits. According to evolutionary debunking arguments, the epistemological problem with moral realism is that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes it hard to see how our moral beliefs count as knowledge of moral facts, realistically construed. Certain forms of constructivism are supposed to be immune to this argument, giving the view a (...)
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  • Coincidences and How to Reason About Them.Elliott Sober - 2012 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 355--374.
    Suppose that several observations “coincide,” meaning that they are similar in some interesting respect. Is this coinciding a mere coincidence, or does it derive from a common cause? Those who reason about this kind of question—whether they embrace the first answer or the second—often deploy a mode of inference that I call probabilistic modus tollens. In this chapter I criticize probabilistic modus tollens and consider likelihood and Bayesian frameworks for reasoning about coincidences. I also consider the perspective offered by model (...)
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  • Mind-Independence Without the Mystery: Why Quasi-Realists Can’T Have It Both Ways.Sharon Street - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 6. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-32.
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  • Causes and Coincidences.David Owens - 1990 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:49-64.
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  • Causes and Coincidences.Michael Tooley - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (3):546.
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  • Evolutionary Arguments Against Moral Realism: Why the Empirical Details Matter (and Which Ones Do).Jeroen Hopster - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41.
    The aim of this article is to identify the strongest evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and to assess on which empirical assumptions it relies. In the recent metaethical literature, several authors have de-emphasized the evolutionary component of EDAs against moral realism: presumably, the success or failure of these arguments is largely orthogonal to empirical issues. I argue that this claim is mistaken. First, I point out that Sharon Street’s and Michael Ruse’s EDAs both involve substantive claims about the evolution (...)
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